Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Play and Learn Weekly – Apr. 7th, 2013 (#GBL)

What’s happening in the convergence of play and learn? (game-based learning)


Serious Games Effective in Teaching Open Innovation and management (from

Recently, an article about the effect of serious games on teaching and learning the essentials of (open) innovation and innovation management has been published on the ssrn. The authors have researched a group of students from different nationalities playing a game in the context of an education course.

The study uses a series of plays and discussions and compares the results of these sessions with game theory. They round up with several interesting conclusions:

  • We argued that play can be a source of creativity, imagination and fun in a teaching setting (cf. Kolb & Kolb, 2010).
  • We found evidence that playful games can help to create such an experience through interactive experience and simple simulation — thereby helping the students to better understand the theory behind open collaborative innovation (Bogers, 2012; Chesbrough, 2003; Chesbrough et al., 2006; Dahlander & Gann, 2010; Nalebuff & Brandenburger, 1997).
  • Moreover, playful games allow understanding open innovation as interplay of complex processes of relating, social capital, and institutions (Adler & Kwon, 2002; Nahapiet & Ghoshal, 1998; Rolfstam, 2009; Searle, 2005; Stacey & Griffin, 2005).
  • They thus allow us to get a more holistic understanding of the complex social dynamics that emerge when people have to deal with novelty. (Bogers & Sproedt, 2012).

open innovation

Universities given multi-million pound games technology boost

COVENTRY University’s Serious Games Institute and Aston University are set to play a leading role in a £1.5m research project which aims to help manufacturing firms transform their business models using games technology.

The Games of Government

Some local governments have pioneered the use of gaming for citizen engagement. Manor, Texas, for example, has used an online-game approach to let citizens submit ideas for improving city services. The residents earned points that could be used in the town’s online store for prizes that could even include the opportunity to be mayor for a day.

Some video games could be adapted to help communities meet local goals. For example, inspiring healthy lifestyles might be “gamified” by creating competitions between neighborhoods. First lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign to end childhood obesity has sponsored a contest, Apps for Healthy Kids, via the Department of Agriculture. The resulting apps–such as Pick ChowFood Buster and Work It Off–could be adopted by communities that want to reduce childhood obesity, helping them to connect neighborhoods with similar health goals.

game-based learning

Play for A Cause: Gamifying Skills-Based Volunteering

A Billion + Change is a national campaign to mobilize billions in pro bono and skills-based volunteer services from corporate America in 2013. In this installment of A Billion + Change’s Innovations in Skills-Based Volunteering series, Gabe Zichermann shares Gamification Corporation’s pledge to the campaign– unlocking intellectual talent through Play for a Cause.

Computer simulations allow doctors to learn skills with less risk

Medical students at Duke University are using a new virtual game-based tool to learn from their mistakes without a life depending on it. ith the latest in life-like patient simulation labs, healthcare students and professionals can get hands-on experience in making life-saving decisions.

Health insurers turn to serious games for customers

UnitedHealthcare offers several games that reward players for adopting healthy lifestyles. One, OptumizeMe ( ), available on mobile devices, allows players to compete against friends and family on health and fitness challenges….
In addition, UnitedHealthcare offers Baby Blocks, an online game designed to reward low-income pregnant women and new mothers for attending regular doctor’s appointments.

SimCityEDU: Using Games for Formative Assessment

Scheduled to be be released in the fall of 2013, it builds on SimCity’s city management theme, but provides specific challenges to players in the subject of STEM. SimCityEDU grew out of research conducted by the MacArthur foundation on how gaming can mirror formative assessments [PDF] – measuring understanding regularly along the learning path, rather than occasionally or at the end of a unit, as is most common.

SimCityEDU, funded by the Gates and Macarthur foundations, will provide assessments that are aligned with Common Core State Standards. The EDU version uses the same code as the commercial game, but with the addition of using students’ choices during challenges as a method of assessment. GlassLab is still working to develop all the challenges based on focus-group feedback on student interests, but the one challenge they know they’ll include focuses on the environment, based on positive feedback from the focus groups.


 Use of Student Data: Social media and Gamification in Education

Janet Kolodner of the National Science Foundation mentioned that NSF just launched a project on “big data”—a term that encompasses the gathering of extremely large amounts of data to which analytics are applied to reach new insights—and said that big data will play a much bigger role in education in the future.

Rewarding the Brain through Purposeful Design: Reflections on Week 2 of the Games Based Learning MOOC

For me, the standout resource from the second week of the Games Based Learning MOOC was Tom Chatfield’s TED Talk “7 Ways Games Reward the Brain.”


CHI 2013 – Designing Gamification Workshop

game-based learning

The Gamification Research Network (GRN) is a communication hub for academic and industry researchers and students interested in studying the use of game elements in non-game contexts. Papers and presentations from our #chi2013 workshop “Designing Gamification” are up: Bundle of all workshop papers (PDF).

Designing Gamification: Creating Gameful and Playful Experiences

Gameful Systems: Play in the digital age for young and old.

Gamifying Citizen Science: Lessons and Future Directions

Game Mechanics in Support of Production Environments

New Games for Extant Contexts

Skill Atoms as Design Lenses for User- Centered Gameful Design

Like this: How game elements in social media and collaboration are changing the flow of information.

Gamification in Business: Designing Motivating Solutions to Problem Situations

Gamification: Moving from ʻAdditionʼ to ʻCreationʼ

Applications as Stories

Gamification as a Methodology: A Multi-Part Development Process

Design Principles for the Conceptualization of Games for Health Behavior Change

Industry Design Case: Introducing Gamification Persona Tool

Designing Events as Gameful and Playful Experiences

Challenges of Implementing Gamification for Behavior Change: Lessons Learned from the Design of Blues Buddies

Playing while Testing: How to Gamify a User Field Evaluation

A Preliminary Taxonomy of Gamification Elements for Varying Anticipated Commitment

Persuasive Game Design: A model and its definitions.

Codename Heroes: Pervasive Games for Empowerment

Vampire Hunter: Example of a Gamification Project

Just Press Play: Designing a Game Layer for Student Success

The Future of Work is Play

photo credit: Aaronth via photopin cc


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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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